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Jul 4, 2016 4:33 PM

UPDATE: Officials identify cause of fire that destroyed a Derry home, displacing residents


DERRY — Officials say a fire that destroyed a duplex early Monday morning was likely caused by an unattended open fire pit that was on a wooden porch.

“Our crews could see the glow in the sky before they even got to the scene,” said Jack Webb, a Derry Fire Department battalion chief.

“I hear bang, bang, bang, on my AC and they’re 'like get out of the house it’s on fire,'” said Carol Ann Tilbe, a resident of the duplex.

Tilbe and her fiancé were asleep inside the home with their three dogs and two cats.

“I thought just the grass was on fire at first, but I looked up and it was just flames, it was scary,” Tilbe said.

Tilbe, her fiancé and the dogs made it out safely, but firefighters went into the home to save a cat. A second cat made it out on its own and was later found.

The man who lived next door, where the fire is believed to have started, also made it out safely.

Firefighters received word of the blaze at about 2:31 a.m. and reported having the flames under control by 3:46 a.m.

The home is deemed a total loss.

Tilbe’s family started a GoFund Me page to help recover the costs of the items lost in the fire.


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